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Chairperson‘s Commentary on the "World Refugee Day"

  • 2014-07-11
  • 799

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o 20 of June is the "World Refugee Day" designated by the United Nations.

 

The "World Refugee Day" was appointed for the promotion of international attention to and understanding of refugees who left their home country fleeing from persecution based on race, religion, political opinion and etc. The resolution was unanimously adopted at the United Nations on 4 December, 2000 since when the annual celebration of the World Refugee Day had began.

 

o The Republic of Korea joined the Refuee Convention and its Protocol in 1992. Furthermore, the Refugee Act was enacted in 2012 and entered into force on 1 July, 2013.

 

o The NHRCK has been conducting joint projects with the UNHCR Korean and NGOs such as on-site research on the rights of refugee, a forum on integrity of refugees with the society, counsel on human rights issues with refugees and etc.

 

o The NHRCK devised a proposal for measures to improve the social status of refugee and refugee application procedures in compliance with international standards. Also, the NHRCK recommended the Government to enact a refugee act.

o After the enactment of the Refugee Act in 2012, the NHRCK issued its opinion on the enforcement ordinance proposal on the Refugee Act that it includes provisions which provides external assistance such as lawyers and the UNHCR on application for refugee status and strengthens expertise of staff in the course of reviewing the application.

 

o Recently, the NHRCK paid a visit to the Immigration Foreigners Supporting Center in Incheon city. There, the NHRCK listened to the real voices of those in need including a pregnant refugee-status applicant and children, which will serve as a basis of the promotion and protection of refugee rights.

 

o Refugee applicants in Korea still face difficulties in making a living and suffer from the low social status below international standards even after being recognized as a refugee.

 

o As of April 2014, among 7,000 refugee applicants, only 389 persons obtained refugee status which means the acceptance rate of refugee application is 5% that is far below than international standard at 38%. More support from the Government is needed to establish a protection system for refugees in accordance with international standards and implement it.

 

o Welcoming the World Refugee Day this year, it is our hope that our society will become more inclusive so that lives of refugees in Korea can be more optimistic. The NHRCK will make our upmost effort to promote and protect rights of refugee in Korea who have to overcome multiple challenges to settle down in a foreign country.

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